Why Are People Not Drinking Milk?
Antibiotics and hormones, dairy allergies, health risks, inhumane treatment of factory animals, lactose intolerance and following a vegan diet are only a few of the reasons some leave milk behind and choose milk alternatives. And there are people like me who are simply grossed out by it.
Tidbit #1: Antibiotics, Hormones and Pesticides: Just like fruit, vegetables and meat, agricultural chemicals like pesticides end up in the milk supply from run-off and the grasses the cows are eating and the water they are drinking. In order to prevent disease and pathogens in the cows and their milk, there’s a hearty dose of antibiotics in conventional factory-farm milk. Additional hormones, like bST, are given to cows for them to make more milk than they are naturally intended to produce, and these hormones end up in our milk supply. The antibiotics are now being blamed for antibiotic-resistant children and causing premature puberty in young children.
Tidbit #2: Inhumane Feedlot Dairies: Watch Vegucated and learn about the disturbing and upsetting treatment of the hormone-filled, inoculated cows making milk in factory farms. The documentary was made by vegans, so it’s a little extremist but still eye-opening. For some, a refusal to drink milk is a protest against these inhumane farming practices, and fear of the long-term health risks of ingesting the antibiotics, hormones, and possible pathogens. Organic milk from grass-fed and well-cared for cows can be a solution to this dilemma, and others prefer to not consume any animal products, only milk alternatives like almond and soy.
Tidbit #3: Health Risks: The cholesterol and fat content of cow’s milk are the culprits in current research proving increased chance of hypertension and obesity. There is a connection to a disease once thought to be prevented with milk consumption: osteoporosis. The fat content alone is enough make people shy away from the beverage: an 8-ounce glass boasts 150 calories and 8 to 9 grams fat. Research draws a connection between the high fat levels and an increase in “bad” cholesterol and risk of atherosclerosis and hypertension. And, while our parents and “Got Milk?” advertisements preached the importance of calcium from milk, it may not be the magic we once thought it to be. Most conventional milks are fortified with calcium and vitamin D to promote bone health, but our bodies may not be able to use it as well as we’re led to believe. It may also be the vitamin A present in cow’s milk that counteracts the vitamin D and interferes with bone formation, and research is connecting this to actually causing osteoporosis.